Throughout the decades there have been albums that come along and completely define and shape a genre. In the 80’s we had Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’, 90’s gave us Slipknots ‘Slipknot’ and the 00’s had us banging our heads to Machine Head’s ‘ The Blackening’. Just the thought of a black metal record living amongst those records would be needless to say ambitious, but Behemoth’s ‘The Satanist’ is just that. Released in 2014, ‘The Satanist’ took the metal community by storm and was critically acclaimed everywhere you went, now 4 years later Behemoth are releasing ‘Messe Noir’ a DVD/CD package to bring the entire record into a breathtaking live spectacle.
The record opens with a “Be-he-moth” chant from eagerly awaiting metal fans, a harrowing scream accompanied with ambient percussion roar from the stage and as the percussion and screams reverberate through the venue the opening riff from ‘Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel’ is rung out. As the black metal giants progress through the song you can hear they are on insane form, flawless execution of a fantastic opener. ‘Furor Divinus’ is next and is one of the heaviest songs on the record; the verse riff just sounds incredible live and as Nergal commands the crowd they are completely in his palms. A tom roll towards the end of the song rumbles through the speakers and just shows how great the sound, mix and performance are. Spoken words come across the P.A and as Nergal screams “I believe in Satan / who rend both heavens and earth” the title track of the package ‘Messe Noir’ is in full savaging swing. Lyrically the song is one of my favourites of the album and in the live setting sounds absolutely crushing.
‘Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer’ & ‘Amen’ follow and with no surprise sound as big as the previous songs, the guitar tones are perfect and as solo’s play across the sea of screaming metal fans you know you’re in the presence of greatness. ‘The Satanist’ is next and one that I’ve been eagerly waiting to hear on the record. Ambient percussion rings out as spoken female words echo across the venue, the riff soon kicks in and gut crunching drum fills the room. There is not one point in this performance that I can fault, an outstanding point of the performance, both live and on record and a song which stays in my head for days and days.
‘Ben Sahar’ is next and with more flawless playing the set is in complete full swing. The bass in this song sounds brilliant; the fills throughout the main riff are heavy in the mix and really catch my attention. The mix and tones for this entire show are absolutely flawless. ‘In The Absence Ov Light’ keeps the performance going and with an ambient acoustic guitar moment in the middle of the song splitting up the performance giving you a little break from the onslaught of black metal genius. The final song on ‘The Satanist’ and wrapping up the live CD is ‘O Father O Satan O Sun!’ another performance that proves the record and live show are and should be critically acclaimed. For any Behemoth fan this is something that should be in your record collection, an outstanding live CD and a great capture of the greatness of that band.